Published July 1, 2003.
Can one device really replaces tongs, forks, spatulas?
The Pig Tail Food Flipper—a slender stainless steel rod with a wooden handle on one end and a sharp, pointed, curled tip on the other (shaped like its namesake)—is designed to flip foods at the grill or the stovetop without marring their surface. The manufacturer's website and packaging claim that it "replaces tongs, forks, and spatulas." We tested the Pig Tail by flipping a rack of ribs, a hot dog, a couple of chicken cutlets, a filet mignon, strips of bacon, and French toast (the latter being an odd choice but one that was featured in a demonstration video).
The Pig Tail handled each of these tasks with varying degrees of success--from excellent for the hot dog, chicken, and bacon to fair for the French toast, which it tore. The filet mignon turned over easily, but some of its juices escaped through the tiny holes made after flipping it. (These holes could be seen on the surface of the steak.)
Our tool of choice for all of the above uses is generally a pair of tongs. Would we trade them in for a Pig Tail? No. Tongs hold food more securely, and they seem to be safer as well. One member of the test kitchen staff poked her finger with the extremely sharp tip of the Pig Tail while cleaning it. We'll save our $14.95 (the cost of a 12-inch Pig Tail) and hang on to our tongs.